It’s ridiculously cold outside in Alberta in early December, Gary Bettman is trying to screw over NHL players and the Boston Red Sox are absolutely dominating the MLB off-season, at least on paper.
In other news, the Pope is still Catholic and the Columbus Blue Jackets are still awf — wait.
All joking aside, how scary are the Red Sox after Tuesday?
For those that don’t follow baseball in the dead of winter — that’s normal, right? — the Red Sox decided that they needed to blow up the MLB Winter Meetings on Tuesday by sending four top prospects in Yan Moncada — who is the MLB’s top-rated prospect — Michael Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Chris Sale.
Sale, as some may recall, is the guy who made headlines earlier this year for allegedly taking a pair of scissors to the White Sox’s retro jerseys because he didn’t want to have to wear them. Sounds rational to me.
But Sale will now become a key piece of a starting rotation which also includes former Cy Young Award winners David Price and Rick Porcello. That means that over half of Boston’s starting rotation is made up of Cy Young winners.
This, obviously, is a scary thought for a Blue Jays team which has yet to make a major move this off season beyond signing potential DH Kendrys Morales to a three-year deal and 1B/OF Steve Pearce to a two-year deal.
Now, I love both of those signings, but they aren’t exactly the kinds of game changing deals that are going to, say, make their team the near-surefire favourite to win the AL East this year.
Also, those two signings make one thing very clear in that both play positions that were covered last season by current Free Agents Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, meaning the Jays are probably unlikely to re-sign either of the two sluggers.
To make matters somehow worse for the Jays, the Red Sox continued to make waves on Tuesday by also acquiring reliever Tyler Thornburg and 1B/DH option Mitch Moreland through a separate trade and free agency respectively.
Meanwhile, the Jays are reportedly in talks with both Encarnacion and Bautista.
Wait, what? I thought they had addressed those positions. What are Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro playing at? MAKE UP YOUR MINDS!
Now, from my perspective, it appears as though Encarnacion may be the more likely one signing for the Jays, who have apparently been in talks with him for the past few days.
Toronto would probably be a logical landing point for Encarnacion, who despite his impressive numbers has never played more than 100 games at first base in any one year throughout his entire career, which makes him signing with a National League team unlikely to say the least.
Personally, I would prefer if they re-sign Edwin to a short term kind of deal and let Jose slide. They’ve got a few options to play outfield including Melvin Upton Jr. and Ezequiel Carrera and a DH combination of Encarnacion and Morales could be absolutely deadly.
Of course, that doesn’t really address one of Toronto’s biggest needs, which is a replacement for bullpen wizard Brett Cecil and rental reliever Joaquin Benoit.
They’re also apparently interested in speedy leadoff man Dexter Fowler, which could be its own minor victory.
So with all of this still up in the air, it’s going to be a busy few weeks in the big T.O. and I’m excited to see where the Jays decide to go with it.
Hey look at that, I wrote an entire story about a Toronto sports team and didn’t once mention the Maple Leafs. Dang it.